“I wanted to be a baker growing up. It started out with me helping my mom make pineapple tarts when I was younger, and now, I’m two weeks away from graduating with a Diploma in Culinary and Catering Management.

I joined the course at Temasek Poly because I wanted to learn the culinary side more than the service side of running an F&B business. After graduation, I figured I could do something with my life, perhaps be that baker I’ve always wanted to be, and make my family proud.

But during my culinary practicum, I realised that I’m pretty bad at cooking and actually enjoy talking to customers more. My culinary skills are good, but I was kind of slow in picking them up. My friends suggested that I just stick to front-of-house stuff.

It made me feel sucky at first, but it eventually brought me relief. If you’re not good at something, look at the situation positively. Maybe it’s time to try something different. Who knows? You might just be better at something else.

I’m currently one of the café managers at Working Title, and I find it really fun meeting new customers every day. Well obviously I don’t interrupt their conversations when they’re seated – that’s rude – but I do chat them up when they’re making their orders at the cashier.

Yes, I do enjoy talking to people. I’m usually the noisy one in a group, and my friends get weirded out when I’m quiet. Talking is a skill. Here in Singapore, especially, people are always commenting about stuff on social media, but they keep very quiet in real life.

It’s like they’re living in their own bubbles. Me? I have a tendency of saying my feelings out loud. I’ve been trying to tone it down, though. Some people find my chattiness really annoying, especially in the mornings, which is unfortunate. Oh well.” – Batrisyia, 21


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Arman Shah

A former travel writer with fond memories of solo adventures in Southeast Asia, Arman is now Founder of The Everyday People. He's also the co-host of Channel Empathy, a podcast about the marginalised in Singapore.